Get on with it

“Out of him we are all come, in him we are all enclosed, unto him we shall all go, finding in him our heaven in everlasting joy.” This, from Julian, is the complete mystery of our salvation through the Incarnation. In the Incarnation, there is nothing about our human experience, including death, that is unknown to God; there is nothing that God has not taken up and cannot redeem. And because Jesus did not slough off his body as if it were something outgrown or bad or useless when he ascended into heaven, there is also nothing about “fair human nature” that Jesus has not made holy.

When Christ ascends, two angels materialize out of nowhere and say to the disciples “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven?” They say, “go home now, get on with it.” But what is it the disciples are to go home and get on with?

Jesus who is over all and through all and in all, has given us to be the Church, to be his body here on earth, the fullness of himself who fills all things. When Jesus opened the disciples’ minds to understand the scriptures, he distilled the whole of them to this: that the Messiah was to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all people, beginning from Jerusalem. The power the disciples will be given is not of the usual political kind. It is to enable them to act out this Jesus in the world in their own bodies: his suffering and his rising, his forgiveness, and our response to it in repentance.

The disciples begin this holy awaiting by the highest action they could take, as Julian says, by loving and delighting in our Lord, “praising Him, and thanking Him, and endlessly rejoicing in Him.”

 

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